In my childhood, there has only been one movie that I would watch over and over - "The Wizard of Oz." I related constantly with Dorothy. She was actually my Halloween costume when I was in preschool. Through Dorothy's constant adventures on the Yellow Brick Road, I started to believe in things that would shape me as the person I am today.
1. It taught me to see the good in people.
Dorothy always saw the "good" in people. Whether it was the Scarecrow who claimed he didn't have a brain or the Tin Man who didn't have a heart, she always saw the best in them. Even the Lion who was fearful as ever, Dorothy made him believe in himself. She taught me to always see people's best qualities, even if they couldn't.
2. It made me believe I am worth something, no matter what my negative thoughts tell myself.
Growing up I had negative self-esteem, but whenever I watched the Wizard of Oz it transported me into a world where I would be accepted. I may have not have been the prettiest or the wisest, but the Wizard of Oz always made me feel loved. With each and every flaw the characters had, they had something that would shine brighter. If it was possible in a movie, it could definitely be possible for me in reality.
3. It taught me to never hide my true self behind a screen.
We all know that the Wizard was a bit of a phony. I mean, even Toto could figure that one out. He was ashamed to admit being the person he was behind the screen. Even though I am guilty of sometimes masking my true self, it isn't a way to live. You should always be yourself, no matter what people say about it.
4. It taught me to have faith in people.
The Wizard may have hidden behind a screen, but that didn't matter to Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, or the Lion. When the Wizard offered each of them a present, they took it with gratitude. They had faith in the Wizard that what he was giving them meant something. It taught me to stop hiding behind my terrible wall and believe in people by trusting them more often.
5. It reminds me to surround myself with people who I can depend on.
Through Dorothy's crazy adventure is trying to figure out how to find her way back to Kansas, she relied on dependable people. The Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man were devoted and loyal during Dorothy's quest to finding her a way home. Lessons like this have taught me to remember what value in friendship is most important to me - loyalty.
6. It made me more accepting of the people around me.
If Dorothy can accept the munchkins doing the little dance number, then I can accept the people around me as well. Since I have watched the movie at least a 100 times, I have been more accepting of the people that are different than me and celebrating their accomplishments.
7. It allowed myself to dream and let my imagination run wild.
Dorothy was able to allow herself to take a moment from her life and to look over the rainbow. Now I am able to visualize future possibilities because Dorothy taught me how. I can now take moments out of my busy schedule and just be content by reflecting on with my life.
8. It taught me how to picture my "happy place."
During my middle school years and on into high school, I owned a pair of red high top Converse. They were my own pair of ruby red slippers. Whenever I would get depressed I would picture a place of happiness, usually nature, and click my heels three times. It was an amazing coping mechanism during that time in my life.
Thank you to the Wizard of Oz for still being my favorite movie 18 years later.
Thank you to the Wizard of Oz for shaping me to be the person I am today.
Lead Image Credit: TheTicketBooth